WEEK 1: Pregnancy GuideNuturemite
Despite the facts there are no clear indicators at this stage the first week of pregnancy is as important as the other weeks because proper care during initial weeks will lead to a stronger and healthier baby. This week counts as part of your 40-week pregnancy even-though your baby hasn’t been conceived yet.
Before becoming pregnant you should avoid alcohol, drugs and tobacco products. Consuming these products can cause birth defects, foetal alcohol syndrome, respiratory problems, low birth weight and other health problems.
Talk to your doctor of you are taking any prescription and non-prescription drugs.
Women who are attempting to become pregnant should take 400 micro-grams of folic acid a day.
For the Baby: Your baby is still just a glimmer in your eye. It’s difficult to know exactly when conception occurred, so doctors calculate your due date from the beginning of your last menstrual cycle. That’s right — for calculation purposes, you’re “pregnant” before you even conceive!
Mom-to-be: At the beginning of your period, about 20 eggs called ova occupy fluid-filled sacs called follicles. If you typically have your period every 28 days, then about 14 days later, you ovulate: One of these follicles releases an egg, and it travels down your fallopian tube where it awaits fertilization. This time — 14 days after your period started and a day or so longer — is when you’re the most fertile. If you want to get pregnant, this is the best time to try. Once the egg is fertilized, it moves into the uterus.
Don’t be disappointed if you don’t get pregnant the first time. Depending on her age, each month, a woman has a 25% chance of getting pregnant, so you may need to try more than once.
Tip for the Week: Make sure you’ve scheduled a preconception visit with your ob-gyn to determine risks of genetic diseases and environmental hazards as well as learn about necessary lifestyle changes to ensure a healthy pregnancy and baby. Most important, make sure you’ve started taking 0.4 milligrams, or 400 micrograms, of folic acid a day. Folic acid taken a few months before conception has been shown to dramatically reduce such neural tube defects as spina bifida.
The due date will be calculated from the first day of your last menstrual period. Conception occurs about two weeks from this day, and that’s when you’re truly considered pregnant. In just 40 short weeks, your baby will grow from the size of a tiny seed to the size of a plump watermelon.
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Even if you don’t feel a thing (yet!), you’re experiencing the amazing transformation of your egg into an embryo and may still have some 1st week pregnancy symptoms. Though the terms used to explain your body’s changes during the first couple of weeks of pregnancy may sound clinical, they are a necessary part of describing the complex process of a baby’s growth and determining the first signs of life.
During your first week of pregnancy, your body sheds its uterine lining (that’s when you get your period) and prepares to make a new one that’s a hospitable nest for a fertilized egg. Meanwhile, about a thousand of your eggs make their way down the road to maturity. Only about 20 of those eggs will ripen inside fluid-filled sacs known as follicles, and then only one of those follicles will develop, ovulate, and rupture, allowing the egg (ovum) to start its trip down your fallopian tube during the 2nd week of pregnancy. (If two or more rupture, you may have twins, triplets, or more.)
Conception typically takes place between days 14 and 17 of a regular 28-day menstrual cycle. It can take up to three days for the sperm to meet up with your egg in the fallopian tube, so the date of intercourse isn’t always the same day your baby was conceived.
Your baby is the size of a plump watermelon. Although your baby is still a microscopic cluster of cells at this point — you can’t even see it on an ultrasound — three different essential cell layers are already beginning to develop. Their names are probably familiar from biology class: the ectoderm, which will become your baby’s nervous system, hair, and skin; the endoderm, which will form your baby’s gastrointestinal tract, liver, pancreas, and thyroid; and the mesoderm, which eventually develops into your baby’s skeleton, connective tissue, blood system, urogenital system, and muscles.
At the beginning, calculating your baby-to-be’s due date is no easy task! To figure out your baby’s expected arrival day, your health care provider will ask you when your last menstrual period (LMP) began. For most women, the average menstrual cycle lasts 28 days long, but normal range falls anywhere between 21 to 35 days in adult women (and from 21 to 45 days for young teens.
While most women know the date when their last period began, most wouldn’t know the day they ovulated. For that reason, health care providers use the LMP as a starting point for guesstimating the day of your baby’s arrival. The most accurate way to figure out her arrival date is with an ultrasound, but not all health care providers request an ultrasound during the first trimester of pregnancy.
Symptoms during week 1 of pregnancy:
- Fatigue – fatigue can happen any time in pregnancy, but it is most common early on.
- Cramping- shedding your lining comes with some pain in your lower back as your uterus contracts.
- Food cravings- may want to eat different things within different frame of time. The food cravings may also be your unusual choice of diet or even the food that you usually don’t prefer in your day to day schedule.
- Headaches- someone women will experience headaches like they do with periods.
- Constipation- may face some trouble in the toilet but is purely normal and harmless.
- Mood swing- your emotions will be rather high, all thanks to your hormones.
Lifestyle to be followed during week 1 of pregnancy:
- Start a healthier diet: There isn’t a specific diet but eating healthier foods can help you get pregnant faster. Include foods like green leafy vegetables, mercury free fish, seeds, nuts, complex carbs, fruits.
- Drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of water every day.
- Avoid certain foods like consuming alcohol, tobacco, excessive caffeine, simple carbs etc.
- Start with light exercise.
- Get enough sleep
- Set up a pre-conceptional visit with your doctor.
Exercises during week 1 of pregnancy and its effects:
Maintaining regular exercise throughout your pregnancy can help you stay healthy and feel good. Regular exercise can improve your posture and decreases some common discomforts such as fatigues and backaches. Regular exercise may help to prevent gestational diabetes.
It helps to release stress and helps to build more stamina which is required during delivery.
It is always best to go for low impact exercises such as walking, yoga, swimming etc.
Yoga helps the body to gently stretch and develop strength. People practising yoga from longer duration can continue yoga until and unless they are practising in a warm environment.’
During pregnancy try to avoid these:
- Back bends
- Positions that involve raising the feet above the head and heart.
- Positions that involve abdominal twists.
- Positions that create pressure on the uterus.
Which is the best time to start yoga in pregnancy?
- The right time to start yoga is from the second trimester.
- Normally doctors advise pregnant women not to perform yoga during first trimester.
- In first trimester, simple meditation is enough.
Foods that should be avoided during pregnancy:
Avoiding the below mentioned foods will keep you and your baby healthy.
- Fish containing mercury:
Fish such as shark, tile fish contain high levels of mercury. Mercury is an element which is found in oceans, lakes etc which converts into methyl mercury in the human body. It is a neurotoxin which leads to brain damage and development delays in babies.
- Raw or under-cooked eggs:
Raw or under-cooked eggs should not be consumed as they contain harmful salmonella bacteria, which causes food poisoning. You may also suffer from diarrhoea, vomiting, abdominal pain etc.
- Unpasteurized milk:
It is not safe to drink unpasteurized milk or raw milk as it contains harmful bacteria called salmonella which can be dangerous to you and your baby.
- Unwashed fruits and vegetables:
Unwashed fruits and vegetables contain toxoplasma parasite which harms the developing baby.
- Excess caffeine:
Higher amount of caffeine could increase the chances of miscarriage and low birth weight babies. Other drinks which can be avoided are soft drinks, diet soda, alcohol, iced tea.
- Sugar rich foods:
Cut down on sugar-rich foods such as desserts, candies, cakes, ice creams, sweetened beverages. They worsen pregnancy discomforts, increase weight, increase gestational diabetes etc.